In this first quarter of the year the staff of the School of Economics were involved in two big events. The first is the Faculty’s new Economic Literacy Centre.
The Literacy Centre is the brainchild of Prof Ermie Steenkamp who was inspired by a visit to a NCEE facility in Mexico a number of years ago. The idea was create a space where learners visiting campus can be introduced to the economic and management sciences. There is a “movie theater” with big screens showing the latest economic indicators. There are interactive electronic games in which a learner can allocate the family’s budget. Another shows the power of compound interest and the benefits of starting to save early. Visitors also have the opportunity to play a card game and learn about the R1-man. If we can get more learners to study maths at school, and more of them to consider the economic and management sciences, we will be very happy!
The second major event was the Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa’s Tomlinson lecture.
This prestigious memorial lecture was co-hosted by the School’s agricultural economists, lead by Dr Ernst Idsardi and those from UFS (Dr Flippie Cloete).
Dr Kobus Laubscher presented the lecture on the theme: “Relevance versus indispensable in making the long-term urgent – Agricultural Economists can choose to shift the responsibility or to shift the paradigm”. Dr Laubscher is an independent Agricultural Economist and Strategist with 27 years as an agricultural economics academic. He is an expert in several fields such as rural development, business process re-engineering and corporate governance.
The event was attended by the leadership of the AEASA, academics and representatives of industry and government.
This quarter the blogger-in-chief fell badly behind schedule, so to make up for it we are making one big round-up post of all the news that mattered in Q1.
One of the major highlights was that Prof Ewert Kleynhans received the National Research Foundation’s C-3 rating. The rating shows that Prof Kleynhans is an established researcher (it gives epic bragging rights) and comes with funding to aid future research.
Staff members of also attended courses and presented their work at conferences and workshops all over. Proff Andre Heymans and Chris van Heerden presented papers at the SA Finance Association conference in January. Prof Saayman was in France and Prof Kleynhans in Germany for conferences.
Ms Mosima Ngwenya, Master’s student in the School of Economics, represented the NWU at the annual Nedbank/Old Mutual budget speech competition in Cape Town. She was one of 10 post graduate finalists who ended up tops in an essay writing competition amongst all the tertiary institutions in South Africa. The essay dealt with the affordability of National Health Insurance in South Africa. As part of the three-day outing to Cape Town, the finalists took part in a budget simulation exercise, were interviewed by a panel of top private sector economists, paid a visit to parliament on budget speech day and were interviewed by national media. Click on this link (http://www.enca.com/…/budget2017-finalists-tackle-the-budget) for a eNCA clip in which Mosima played a central role. Well done, you really did us proud!!
It is right at the end of the academic year and we are making research posts!
Yesterday, Greg Foggitt, a PhD student in Risk Management, presented a paper from his thesis at the ERSA workshop on Financial intermediation in emerging markets. The conference was hosted by the UCT Business School. The title of Greg’s paper was “Identifying the determinants of systemic risk in South African banks”.